The Peter Vabulas Memorial Scholarship will grant an award of $1,000 this year to an exemplary graduating senior. The scholarship, newly-established, honors an outstanding young man, a member of Schreiber High School's Class of 1999, who died suddenly and tragically last year. He had been a student at Tufts University.
An exceptionally well-rounded, intelligent and compassionate young man, Peter Vabulas was well-remembered by former teachers, professors, friends and community members. Edna Edelstein, Peter's seventh grade science teacher, wrote: "Peter was a brilliant student. He always knew the answers, but was very modest about showing off his knowledge. He radiated wisdom and goodness. His classmates demonstrated a respect towards Peter that I had never seen before then, or since. He was a great intellect and a beautiful soul."
While at Schreiber, Peter Vabulas contributed much to the school; he excelled in multiple areas. He was a superb violinist who was also the concert master but pitched in whenever help was needed. Joseph Mooney, his high school orchestra teacher, wrote: "It was a great honor for me to work with such an intelligent and talented student, but more than that, I was deeply touched by his kindness and humility." In his college recommendation for Peter, Fred Buchman, his high school counselor, wrote that he often greeted his student as "fabulous Vabulas." He mentioned that Peter was a member of the selective science research program, a vital member of the state champion Academic Decathlon team, contributed enormously to the Science and Math Olympiads, and was a gifted writer. Others, like Simon and Schuster co-worker David Frost, remembers his "gentle sense of humor."
A political science major at Tufts University, friends, faculty, and family honored Peter in a memorial service at the school in January. After he collapsed suddenly on the campus, and could not be revived, the dean and other faculty began to pursue having Vabulus' degree awarded posthumously. He left a most loving family: mother Seung-won, father Gerard and sisters Myung-Hee and Eun-Hee.
To be eligible for the scholarship, students must promote understanding and cooperation and demonstrate kindness and respect for others. In addition, candidates should demonstrate involvement in school and community service, satisfactory school achievement, self-improvement, and financial need. Those interested should complete a Schreiber common application (found in the Guidance Office) and submit an essay of 200 words or less, describing their contribution to society and how they have made a difference in others' lives.